Juggling. Scandinavian in aesthetic and playful in nature
The 3rd International theatre festival “NoMadI” takes place from the 7th till 10th of August in Valmiera and 13th till 16th of August in Riga.
This year’s festival program features the new flamboyant juggling show named “Between Someonesons” from Patrik and Wes.
Who are they? Patrik Elmnert (Sweden) and Wes Peden (USA) are two young men with short hair and kneepads. In 2008 they started creating juggling together and went on to perform shows in Spain, Ireland, Finland, Norway, USA, Germany, Poland, England, Italy, and for the royal family of Sweden. Their juggling is Scandinavian in aesthetic and playful in nature. With the use of space, bodies, time, and objects these two jugglers build a unique and vibrant atmosphere.
Arterritory.com wanted to get closer to magic juggling world and asked a couple of questions to the masters.
You have stated that your „juggling is Scandinavian in aesthetic and playful in nature”. How would you describe “aesthetically Scandinavian” juggling?
What we mean with “a Scandinavian aesthetic” in juggling is to create and perform juggling about the actual juggling and the objects being juggled. To create juggling around what the specific objects, and their specific shapes, make it possible to do; to create and perform the juggling so that it expresses the juggling itself; and to not necessarily put other layers on top of it, like for example, a character that has nothing to do with the juggling. I'm not saying that it would be wrong to do that, only that the juggling is the thing that would then create the character. We strongly believe that the focus on the juggling itself is all that´s needed to create a strong performance.
Please, give us a little descriptive insight into your show which will be held in “NoMadI” festival.
“Between Someonesons” is a show using 2 bodies and 37 objects. These bodies and objects work together to present 13 compositions of juggling about timing, balance, geometry, humor, explosions, and everyday tasks. Two young men walk onto the empty stage wearing knee pads, two shades of red, and carrying a large silver box. Balls, rings, clubs, CDs, stereos, and a water bottle appear from the box throughout the show – as the tools for this performance. The show contrasts intricate, nine-club passing routines set to Icelandic electro-pop, with half-ironic acrobatics and the manipulation of everyday objects in silence.
In one piece, each performer juggles three clubs with their right hand throwing synchronized double flips. The juggling becomes a simple metronome while the jugglers run on an interlocking grid of footwork beneath the flipping clubs, crossing within centimeters of each other as their paths cross back and forth. Presenting an entirely different aesthetic later in the show, is a choreography where the two jugglers work as a single four-armed manipulator of three rings. With such complex passes as throwing the rings so that they bounce across three arms, only to be caught at their peak by a mid-air juggler lifted up by the other.
An important aspect of “Between Someonesons” is the rhythm of the entire 45 minutes, and how the work builds, twists, slows, peaks, and turns in unexpected ways, so as to keep the audience thinking that anything could happen. With choreographies made to accomplish the task of opening a water bottle, drinking the water, and closing it again – all in a juggling fashion – the duo demonstrates to the audience that juggling is something everyone can relate to, since we all move objects on daily basis every time we pick up a pen, peel an orange, or throw a crumpled-up piece of paper into the trash can. This energetic work done by Patrik and Wes is juggling made for art galleries and dance clubs.
Is there any message behind your program, or is it solely visual entertainment?
The creation and development of our show doesn't have any other ulterior motives besides creating a solely visual, kick-ass, juggling show. We've been working with different concepts of juggling done by more than one person, in order to create a dynamic and visual show.
From where do you take an inspiration? Are there any other art forms which serve as a source of inspiration?
We are inspired by other jugglers, music, rap artists, photographers, videographers, movement artists, etc. who are really really good at what they do and are constantly trying to push their art form forward.
Which is the technically most difficult part of your program?
I don´t think anybody that comes to see our show will have any idea of what actually is the hardest part for us. We don´t build our performance around making certain tricks look hard, so I believe that the audience could think that something that´s easy for us maybe looks very hard. There´s one composition in the show which is the most physically demanding part, and which makes the technique difficult for us because of its high pulse and the extreme focus that is necessary to do it. In terms of a pure piece of technique that we find very tricky, there´s a trick that we call “the interlocked six-up pirouette”.
Who is the best juggler ever known in history?
I think we all have different opinions on this question, but there are many names, in my opinion. Enrico Rastelli, Francis Brunn and Paul Cinquevalli are a few worth mentioning. Michael Moschen is a very important juggler to many jugglers these days, and the only one of the ones that I just mentioned who is still alive.
Are there any other events in the juggling world you would like to recommend to our readers?
There are many juggling festivals that we find very interesting and that are definitely worth visiting. The 531 Festival in Helsinki, Finland, is possibly the best festival to go to if you want to see what´s going on in the juggling world; and in Scandinavia, they are having great juggling performances visiting from all over the world. It´s a small but really good festival. Another festival which we love is the JJF (Japan Juggling Festival). We performed there in 2012, and it is a crazy place to go to and see a lot of crazy jugglers. The Japanese juggling community is very big, everybody is very passionate about their juggling, and they work extremely hard. Japan is the country where I think the jugglers, in general, stand out the most – they kind of have there own view of juggling. Unfortunately, right now there aren't any good juggling forums with high traffic. But there is good old juggling.tv, on which people upload their videos – kind of like the YouTube of juggling – but most people post their videos on YouTube, primarily. You can find groups like "Jugglingrock" on Facebook, where anybody can post what they want. And there are blogs like, for example, www.ministryofmanipulation.com (a juggling, contact juggling and dance blog), on which the administrators of the blog post things, mostly videos, that they find interesting.
Contemporary circus performance for different ages “Between Someonesons” by Patrik and Wes Valmiera Drama theatre 9th of August, 21:00